The True Story Behind Netflix’s Gunther’s Millions

By Louie Fecou
Published: January 31, 2023 (Last updated: February 3, 2023)
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We discuss the true story behind the Netflix limited documentary series Gunther’s Millions. We discuss the accuracy of the true story series and the history of a famous dog.

You have to hand it to whoever does the research on those Netflix docu-series that pop up every now and then on the platform. They always seem to be able to find some of the strangest subjects, and Gunther’s Millions is no exception. There is an argument that the current format that is used, slickly produced features with high production values, demeans the real art of the documentary.

Before the rise of streaming, documentaries were often formal affairs, complete with gnarly footage and faded newspaper articles, but now it’s a new age of gloss and HD footage, and everything is up for grabs.

So a series about German countess Karlotta Liebenstein who left her entire estate and a  $400m nest egg, to a dog, Gunther III, is almost par for the course. In the aftermath, a cacophony of money experts, lawyers, and of course, agents get together to coordinate the dog’s fortune and affirm the Gunther bloodline. That is the cast of the show, relaying the story about the world’s hottest dog, and it’s a story that we had to look into just to see if it’s actually true.

Is Gunther’s Millions a true story?

Well, we looked, then looked again, and yes, this is a true story, not a Pixar movie or a mockumentary, but an honest-to-goodness real-life tale of finance and pedigree and the people that inhabit this particular dog house. However, when the surface is scratched, it appears that there are a few layers underneath the premise, which hints that there may be more at play here than first noticed.

Who is Gunther the German Shepherd?

Bit of a trick question, Gunther the 3rd was a dog, the richest dog in the world, and a beloved pet of countess Karlotta Liebenstein, who left it all to Gunther when she died in 1992. The Countess had no children or close family of her own, so Gunther was the obvious choice to be the sole beneficiary of her estate. However, Gunther the 3rd would die, and the estate would then be passed to Gunther the 4th, his son. Puppy power and all that.

Who owned Gunther VI?

Gunther the Fourth would be looked after by a family friend, Maurizio Mian, who would build a team of nearly thirty people, to look after Gunther. Mian is an Italian entrepreneur and is now the CEO of The Gunther Corporation. Mian is the slightly eccentric man at the top of the chain as far as Gunther goes, and the fortune he controls has continued to expand.  Mian has made his main goal in life, to perpetuate the mythos of Gunther, and the fortune, and along the way has faced a few detractors.

Is Maurizio Mian telling the truth?

Well, if you dig a little deeper, there are a few odd facts that muddy the waters of the story presented. First of all, there is some doubt if Gunther the fourth is real, and his age is often the point of contention.

German Shepherds live between around nine and thirteen years, so Gunther the fourth is either really benefitting from his lifestyle, or there is a chance the dog we see in the show is not Gunther.

There are also some articles that you can dig up that explain that Mian may be using the story as a way of generating publicity and attention for his own deals and business ventures.

Other sources allege that the story was an elaborate tax dodge and the whole affair is nothing but a hoax. Whether or not any of these claims are true is open for discussion, but you cannot deny that the story of Gunther’s Millions really makes you want to watch this show.

Is Gunther’s Millions a cult?

When Mian purchased a mansion once owned by Madonna, he would fill it with many young models who would work for him while he conducted an experiment into the nature of happiness. The premise behind the project was said to be the work of countess Karlotta Liebenstein, carried out by Mian at her request. However, the project came to an end after the neighbors complained about the situation. It is easy to see why some would think of this setup as a cult.

When will Gunther’s Millions be streaming on Netflix?

The series will premiere on Netflix on February 1st, 2023.

Features, Netflix, RSC Originals, Streaming Service
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